‘There was almost no one there. I had heard that information prior…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was caught making his way to a Brooklyn public gym after urging city residents to avoid public spaces and large groups of people.
De Blasio immediately faced backlash online from both Republicans and Democrats.
Way to set the example, Mr. Mayor. https://t.co/colF20Wtwg
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) March 16, 2020
As elected officials, we’re expected to lead and set an example for the public.
We’re in a public health crisis, where gyms and restaurants are closing.
Our message to everyone is to stay home.
Mr. Mayor, we need you to lead by example.https://t.co/JfmFCYejH7
— Keith Powers (@KeithPowersNYC) March 16, 2020
De Blaiso last night: we must make whatever sacrifices are necessary to protect NYers.
De Blasio this morning: just gotta squeeze in a few last bicep curls at my favorite public gym.
— Rob Friedlander (@robsfriedlander) March 16, 2020
Even members of his own staff slammed de Blasio’s hypocrisy.
“The Mayor’s actions today are inexcusable and reckless,” said Rebecca Katz, a longtime de Blasio confidante, according to the New York Post.
Another longtime adviser, Jonathan Rosen, agreed: “She’s right. It’s pathetic. Self-involved. Inexcusable.”
And another former City Hall employee told the Post, “Every New Yorker’s regular routine has been put on hold. His should be, too. Get to work. Set an example. This is embarrassing.”
De Blasio, however, defended his decision to defy his own directives and insisted that the public gym was a “very socially distanced situation.”
“There was almost no one there. I had heard that information prior,” he said.
“I suspected that we were all going to be about to close them down, and this would be the last time to get some exercise,” he continued. “… I have to stay healthy so I can make the decisions for the people of this city.”